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Ingredient of the Week: Goat Cheese

Fresh goat cheese is a great way to celebrate the spring. Tom and Thierry help newcomers to the cheese adjust their palate, and give serving tips. (AP File Photo)

“The first flush of that fresh green grass is what makes the world go ’round,” chef Tom Douglas says. And the first hint of spring can make goat cheese a delightful spring treat. He and chef Thierry Rautureau will help you find the right cheese if you’ve never tried it, and give you some serving tips.

“A lot of people got turned off to goat cheese because of the age variety,” Tom says. “As it ages, a lot of goat cheese, in the beginning, was stronger than cow’s milk cheese.”

Goat cheese has not always been popular. Originating from France, it often took time to arrive to the States. “By the time they got here, they were aged and more pungent,” he says. “Usually sweet, and a lot softer of a flavor, is better.”

He also advises newcomers to the alternative cheese.

“If you’ve never had goat cheese, try the youngest, softest [cheese] you can find,” Thierry says. “The taste is at its mildest, and that’s the best way to introduce yourself to goat cheese.”

As your palate develops, you may want to try aged cheese. “Aging goat cheese is a beautiful thing,” says Thierry.

Tom prefers to use goat cheese as an appetizer, with warm, thick slices of rustic bread.

“Brush [the bread] with olive oil,” he says, “and then grill it. If you use too much oil, it’ll drip into the flame and then you’ll have a big sooty piece of toast.”

He then recommends spreading soft goat cheese on the bread, and serving it with a salad of fresh spring greens with a light dressing of olive oil.

Whole Foods Markets are a proud sponsor of Seattle Kitchen’s Ingredient of the Week.

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